Trini Smugglers Receive Prison Time

BVI Platinum News | July 25, 2017 3:53 pm MDT
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Rachelle Emrith, 29, and Allan Birju, 44, who were found attempting to smuggle over $60,000 of cash out of the Territory, were sentenced to serve time at Her Majesty’s Prison.

The two, who hail from Trinidad and Tobago, made an appearance before the Magistrate’s Court today, July 25, where they were sentenced by Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards.

In relation to Emrith, who was charged with three offenses, she was ordered to serve 14 months in prison for engaging in smuggling, 12 months in prison for possession of proceeds of criminal conduct, and has to pay a fine of $60,000 for failing to declare monies to Customs.

If she fails to pay the fine, she will serve an additional 6 months in prison, beginning immediately after the 26 months for the other charges.

In Birju’s case, he will serve 12 months for engaging in smuggling and 6 months for possession of proceeds of criminal conduct. His sentences will run concurrently, which means he will spend a total of 12 months at Her Majesty’s Prison.

The court also made a forfeiture order for the monies that were found on the smugglers.

Prior to sentencing, while addressing the mitigating factors, the court noted that Birju’s part in the act was an minor one, adding that he assisted as a result of pressure.

Senior Magistrate Richards noted that Emrith was undeniably the ringleader of the illegal act, and stated that although she is a mother of two very young children, the court does not see it fit to exercise leniency, due to the seriousness of the crime.

The two pleaded guilty to the offenses on July 14.

As previously reported, the two, along with the five year-old step-daughter of Emrith, arrived in the British Virgin Islands from Trinidad on June 29, and were staying at a villa in Carrot Bay.

On July 4th, while attempting to leave the Territory to return to Trinidad, both were stopped and searched at the T. B. Lettsome International Airport, which led to the find of the cash.

The court heard that on her person, Emrith had several packages wrapped and taped around her waist and on her back end side. The packages, which were noted to contain cash, amounted to $58,050.

Following the find, Emrith allegedly told the officers, “Officer, I have a young child to feed. Things are hard in Trinidad. Someone gave me the money to start a business. Please give me a break.”

A search of Birju recovered cash in the amount of $9,488 from the pocket of a pants, which he wore under his jeans, and the pockets of the jeans itself.

Birju allegedly told officers that he had accompanied Emrith to the BVI and that most of the money was hers.

In an audio interview at the Road Town Police Station, Birju’s story changed, where he informed the officers that he brought the money with him from Trinidad.

He also stated that he did not arrive in the BVI with Emrith, but admitted that they both stayed at the Carrot Bay villa.
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